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The Gods do not sleep.
Sleeping beside one at night is to not sleep even an hour. The Bride of Eros is the consort of Adonai.
They are one.
Formless light that bathes me in the hours when others rest.
He is my invisible lover, my fever and plea.
I have never beheld the beauty of Eros, only He may see me.
And when He comes at night to make love, I never tell Him no.
My lips part to greet the lover. No words or form in this. Only light and melody exist. The vacuous space in me is filled with lightening. It reverberates and warms to no end. I shudder,
I burn at the touch of His.
The longest night of the year.
On a full moon, we sit down to pray. We bind hands in heat, the rapture overflows today.
I tremble inside when remembering you. Barely able to contain what stirs within, it spills out pained with ecstasy.
with drunken attempt, I write loves songs to you.
At the apex of release,
I sing to you to ease. To come and spill more of you, more and more
to give everything, for this thirst can only be quenched when I is no longer.
It was the first winter I had spent in the snow after many years. A strange town, new to me. But acclimating to the weather was not the most difficult aspect of the move. I had long before arriving, grown accustomed to being alone. But watching others who were years and years older than me, I wondered if we as humans just become complacent about loneliness. Even though I enjoyed being alone, I noticed often others greatly struggled with it. But there was no greater joy to me then matching nature to melody.
Listening to classical music on a chilly winter day... watching the music give poetry to winds tussling about the last of the leaves on still, cold trees.
I could get lost in a moment like that for hours. And yet, the pressure to socialize nudged at me. So one afternoon, I got up and decided to go to lunch with David. I hadn't seen him since the night outside my door and could tell he was affected by my distance.
"Hi," I smiled, walking toward him outside the restaurant. I leaned in and gave him a kiss on the cheek. His expression bore disappointment. We went inside and let the hostess seat us, removing layers of scarves and hats before the server appeared.
"I haven't seen you in a while, Nina..." David took my hands in his and warmed them. "I've missed you."
He gazed tenderly into my eyes saying this. There must have been some divide in me, for I was both touched by his sensitivity and distracted from being fully able to receive it.
I wanted to be moved. Blown out of capacity. And lust no longer did that for me.
As if reading my thoughts, he spoke again.
"I hope you did not feel like I was pressuring you the other night," he hesitated for a moment, looking away. "I really like you, and the foundation of that is not built on lust or some temporary affection."
David's face flushed red. His eyes slowly met my gaze again, but this time I noticed an intensity I had not seen before.
"We can go slow, if that's what you need."
I wanted to look away but I could not. It was disconnecting out of years of habit. Out of fear of intimacy that I longer wanted to fear. So I kept looking back, nodding.
"I'm not going anywhere, Nina." He brought my hands to his lips and kissed them with eyes closed.
I sat there incredulous.
However the times have changed, in this modern day, I know even the most callous woman still has remnants of a novice's romantic heart. Swept away by poetry and beautiful sentiment. As sweet as words are, I was no longer seduced by them. I gently pulled my hand away after caressing his face. I did not want him to feel dismissed. But I was at this point rooted and ancient and weary as a willow tree. Married and bound to the earth beneath me. Mere words were no longer enough to move me.
As I returned home from lunch, I noticed someone had stuck an envelope in between the door. Curious, I pulled it out and opened it. Inside was a piece of parchment, appearing burned around the sides. I opened the letter to find a simple note. It read:
"The moth dances around the perimeter of flames. In death, she discovers a solace her wings in seeking could never locate."
I stared at the parchment, reading the line over and over again. No one else was in the hall but me. It remained eerily quiet and dark, but I stood there hoping whoever wrote me this would magically appear.
I sighed, folding the parchment back into the envelope. Whoever wrote me the letter, I thought, would surely return to my door again. And when they did, they would have an envelope awaiting them.
Snow fell on the eve of December. I sat by the window pane, watching the snowflakes float their way down to cold ground. I felt guilty for not calling David back, but felt myself withdraw anyway. The truth is, he was absolutely beautiful to me. A grace and passion that for years I longed for. A tenderness and humility that I only dreamed of, and here it was now in front of me, and all I could manage was to remain polite. I think the hard truth for me to admit was the fear from residual baggage.
I felt like that before. And unfurled a vulnerability and intimacy that overwhelmed the last man I loved. He wanted me, but ultimately he did not love me. It was a difficult truth to accept. One that when I did finally, liberated me from needing that kind of acceptance from someone else. And yet with this one, I wondered how sincere his words really were. How many men have woven beautiful tapestries of pretend. Good intentions with no backbone to follow through on heavy words like "I. Love. You."
I stared at the piece of paper and blinked thoughtlessly.
"Stranger," I finally wrote. "I have always depended on the kindness of---"
I scribbled over the unfinished words, and crumbled up the piece of paper. What to write? How to write from the heart?
"What death may come before a life first lived? I ache to see, and yet you keep yourself hidden from me."
I did not stop to read what I wrote. I was afraid I would change my mind and tear up a perfectly fine piece of sentiment. I secretly prayed it was not a mentally ill stalker that I was summoning from the shadows with my bold request.
Was always my downfall and yet my greatest strength.
Intrepid. Eyes open. In the face of unknown or adversity, I would never turn my gaze the other way.
to be cont..
I wane between dreams and waking state, the divide only a strand as thin as the silk of a spider's web.
A web that connects me to you and all the others whom I have buried into fragments of memory.
The shells we bear are different, but the eyes tell a familiar story.
A story being laid to rest. As I awake now to find only vacancy there.
Remember me... a soul wandering across a precipice of loss and despair. Sorrow turns to surrender.
The dividend to resurrecting... true passion is loving compassion.
All the years I pined for you to notice me, was really me noticing you. Now, at the height of being Alone, I have never felt more enveloped and consumed by this invisible grace.
Remnants of grasping within me still exist, but with no pulse given, the need quickly fades into the abyss.
I am holy. I am hole, and whole, and holy. Hold me. This red and tender heart.
In the hologram of dreams, I find pieces of myself returning, and a power once foreign quickly fills this well with light. The feeling of Presence is volcanic in its plight.
Love pours in through corridors I cannot see. All I know is, I am no longer lonely.
Where before when asked to let go, I did with battle and mourning. Now, I let the tears fall freely and surrender myself to the pain of recycling.
This face I adore, the heat of my beloveds. How many faces can you create, each as lovable as the next? Your children are beautiful because of this fragile quality, and impermanence brought by Time.
Beauty and sadness... Lo, the nuance of each are composed of identical melody.
They are lovers in a symphony. And wherever there is sadness, joy follows to cradle again.
Days breaks on a chilled Autumn. By November now, we have accustomed ourselves to the falling.
Leaves coil, their lives once green and blooming in the summer's heat meet the cold soil below.
All of creation turns in, but we carry on, intrepid.
I notice in front of me the carcass of a little moth. My first thought is to sweep it into a tissue and remove it from the counter. But a small quiver pulls my gaze closer.
The wings tremble so delicately, you would have to be watching so closely to even notice.
I brought my face down closer the moth. His little eyes met mine, and I witnessed him witness me.
He is dying.
My heart swelled with mourning at the realization, and yet there was calmness about it. A sacrality I felt gratitude in watching.
There is something so intimate about witnessing a death. More if not equal to the intimacy of making love, or giving birth.
The three are bound to one another like a trinity of lovers.
Maiden, Mother, Crone
spring, summer, autumn/winter.
As the cycle continues, by spring I have forgotten the melancholy of fall.
But there is a solace to this sadness. An intimacy that cannot be matched...
To rejoice and to lament, tears do fall. The heart swells and pulses all the same.
Love pours in,
breaking through cement walls effortlessly.
Who told you your heart was made of stone? Even the most immovable quiver in this heat.
They swoon, they moan and melt both with anguish and ecstasy.
One was never separate from the other.
If I am anguish, then you are my ecstasy.
Tonight I weep for my stubborn, sad and lonely heart.
It is painful to keep locked in, the capacity you were born to share.
I love you. I love you.
A thousand times, I cannot forget
each lover of mine forged by fire, a passion that recycles and grows only stronger
each time I mourn the loss, the thread that binds yesterday to tomorrow
in the same way I am bound to you, and you to me.
To grasp, to possess love - rather than to be possessed by it, can only merit the deepest of sorrows.
threads of golden tissue...
I tasted you for a moment.
Before you vanished from
lack of virtue
and back into... everything else.
I have made art out of longing.
But longing is a lonely feeling with no lasting cure.
Why should we long, when we can share freely? When abundance is everywhere, why continue with poverty?
Addiction to pain is what keeps us going back. The pain is familiar.
And what we long for more than anything is what is familiar.
The law of possession has a dualistic nature, beware.
Those who want everything, will get nothing.
Those who expect nothing, will get everything.
Where do we fall in between?
Remember the beauty shared. All else is but passing. All else governed by gravity.
Even salty tears...
are born to fall.
Rejoice in me, you will encounter at last what you seek!
Put your energy where your tongue is, and utter only prayer and praise for the science that unifies threads of light from infinite shadow.
I am the scribe that translates melody into lyric. Do not lean on words for solace, their solidity is as of a house of cards. Limitless levels, with great focus, one can almost reach the heavens of knowledge...
yet with no foundation, these cards are bound to fall. What then, when all your efforts prove to be in vain?
Will you weep in despair and curse the God you moments ago claimed to love?
Like a child, with no commitment to Will, your feelings remain mercurial and undeveloped.
I am the Holy Grail you seek! Drink me!
I am nine, I am thine! I am intoxication manifest! And cruelty woven into tapestries of illusions you hold most dear.
When I pull the rug out from beneath you, rejoice, for there is only I!
I, I, I. Married to the Original Mother, the Am that brings forth music out of exalted light!
You ask for torrential downpour, you claim to have capacity... let us see you in your ability, Daughter of Water. Weep for me! In your moans, drive a river of longing all the way to the ocean's shore.
There, like a tadpole, I will lap you up into the foams and never return you again in limited form. Yes, I hear your fervor, for I was the Creator of such unrestrained potential. The fire of you is formed to consume, find a focus, and quick!
Otherwise its servant, the serpent will devour you from the inside, and think nothing of it! We are not born from right and wrong!
There is your first lesson, embody that truth for me.
Release all hesitation, judgement and guilt and I will let you pass through the corridor you linger in the shadows of.
There is a celebration and we are awaiting you! If you long for my Union, then encompass Me.
I want your days to be fraught with feverish visions of Ra and Ptah! Of Nut and Ma'at!
Know the Order first in Chaos. Once your fear of such things is absolved, then I will throw you to the wolves and watch you devour what is Mine.
The year folds symmetrically. No climax superb enough for all that has occurred. A couple came, with all the hope and innocence... and expectation. Where ten thousand dollars wasted away while sleeping in a van, by the end of a year's time, all of it was gone. There is no applause, no acknowledgement even of the perseverance. But deflection and judgement, there is plenty of.
I have realized my reality lacked such an important ingredient. A life without compassion remains two dimensional, colorless except for black and white. If I am to play the Fool, then I shall play her well and feel my heart swell for even the most vile and deject.
Alchemists were fools once. They know the ingredient that turn copper into gold is not in a compound, but in the tempering of atoms.
For temperance, one needs both discernment and compassion. You cannot have one without the other, and judgement is only a precursor, a graduation from bestial instincts. We must comfort ourselves to have been gifted judgement which removes us from an unrestrained impulse, unconcerned with the feelings of others, its only drive to satiate its own hunger.
But do not applaud yourself for remaining there. Judgement is a door. Not a place of rest. There is no repose found in the Intellect. It is transitory, like all other states before.
I cannot anymore rest in the corridor of right and wrong. For I see now its mirage. Pleasure and pain, the push and pull of sensations bound to one another by Law. Come again, let me dance with the tides servant only to change.
I feel the hook in me and like a fish out of water, I shake mercilessly. I am being dragged from the known to something else now, unknown. And where there was no trust before, I feel the bloom of something foreign.
I do not know the path before me, but I walk nonetheless. Not with a head hung low, full of self-pity.
I walk with my eyes parallel to all that is felt but that I still cannot yet see.
One day. After crossing perimeters to discover the Earth is round. One day, the grasping and holding will make way for beholding.
"Only fools do learn and memorize the knowledge of the Arcane, though they shall never receive the wisdom.. the ability to piece certain parts of the puzzle together, for the Creator is the only one that reveals such Wisdom.. He only gives the deepest to those of a pure heart, not a perfect heart...a pure one.. a being who has truly humbled themselves and yearns to learn to be greater servants.. Only if our true desire is to serve through love, can one grow into the deeper aspects and meanings of these teachings.. knowledge can be bought, memorized and regurgitated, but it was only through Wisdom that the foundations of the Heavens and Earth were laid.." --Unknown
Before the divide, there was only love.
I was born into royalty, in the East.
To Scholars and Gnostics. Great poets published into 27 languages. But the war left my family barren in the end. Like divided sectors, they turned on each other, or lay blame to defeat, never to rise out of the ashes again. As I approached adulthood, a woman of twenty, I sought out to continue the story of my broken ancestry.
It is a strange feeling... to discover thereafter of royal blood when you have for most of your life lived as a nomad. To me, kings and queens of countries meant nothing. I did not consider royalty to be identified simply on a birth certificate. It was the noble hearts buried under ruin, with the courage of a lion and the focus of the falcon that deemed them Royal. For it was in the alignment of words and actions that nobility was found. I did not discover mine until I had lost everything.
Reading a fine book, as I curled in close to get warm by the fire, I heard a knock at my door.
I opened it to find a small and frail man soaked layers through by the rains. He stood solemnly, removing his hat and holding it to his chest.
"Good evening Miss, pardon my disturbing you..." the old man's teeth chattered as he tried to speak.
I noticed a grace about him, despite his disposition, there was something timeless and dignified in the way he stood. "My name is Thomas, and I just recently moved in, down the hall from you. The copy of this key giving me trouble and I cannot seem to get into my apartment. I was wondering if I could use your phone to make a call."
If there was a moment's hesitation on my end, was quickly replaced by a kind of empathy for this poor man. I couldn't help but move aside, and let him in.
"Let me get you a towel," I said to him as I closed the door. He stood there in the hall awkwardly, while I rummaged in my room for a spare towel.
"Thank you very much," he smiled bashfully, almost like a boy, when I handed him the fluffy white towel.
"It's nice, right? ...I stole a couple of them from a fancy hotel room last year." I blurted this all of a sudden, shocking myself with why on earth I would ever reveal such an embarrassing detail to a complete stranger. The old man did not seem fazed however, and continued patting his face, amused.
I chuckled nervously. "Ha...ha...uhm.. let me get you the phone to make that call...Please, do come in and have a seat."
"But I am all wet, I would not want to soak your couch," the old man protested. "Thank you dear, II will just stand here."
I nodded, smiling faintly before heading to the counter to get my phone. "To be honest with you, I would never just let a man I don't know come into my home, for fear of getting assaulted! But you are old, and you seem harmless and even kind-- so...."
The phone fell out of my hand, and I quickly covered my mouth in shock. My eyes darted over to the old man, completely humiliated. "I am so sorry!" I exclaimed. "I don't know what is with me tonight! I am just babbling nonsense. Please excuse me, that came out wrong!"
But he stood there laughing softly, with that same amused look on his face.
"It is good to be honest, you, who is so well versed in weaving spells of flattery. To strangers, to friends, whether deserving or not... tonight, your sincerity is refreshing to me."
There was a moment of pause, where I just stood there baffled by what he meant. He stared back solemnly until I looked down and said:
"Uh... here you go..." handing over the phone and frowning in confusion.
"Thank you, Nina." The man bowed his head graciously. "For your hospitality."
My face was still red with embarrassment. I headed into the kitchen to make some tea and give the old man his privacy for the call. As I searched for two cups, it dawned on me that I never told him my name. Instead of a feeling of dread as to why a stranger should know my name, I felt rather oddly puzzled by it and headed back into the living room to inquire.
"Excuse me sir---"
But the man was gone.
And the phone I had given him was on the floor, where he had been standing. The door had not opened, I traced all steps, the entire apartment and even the hall. The old man and the towel I had given him were nowhere to be found.
A couple months went by, and I slowly began to forget about that strange encounter in November. Life resumed as it was before, though I was reminded by the old man again when the other pair of the white towel I had taken from the hotel fell out of the closet as I opened the doors one morning. I bent down and picked it up, running my fingertips over the fine fabric, bringing it up to my face to smell the scent of detergent.
Who was the strange man who knew my name yet disappeared without a sound? I thought to myself perhaps I made the whole event up, but as proof, remained the missing towel that was a pair to the one still in my drawer.
Not too much time passed however before word came again.
I had gone on a date with a man I had met a few weeks prior, on this particular evening. I remember it being freezing that night, and both of us huddled close together, waiting to get into a very busy restaurant. The line came out the door.
"Wow, the food must be good here," I mumbled through my scarf.
Before long, we were sitting in a cozy section, ordering wine under candlelight. The whole scene was terribly romantic, and I was surprised by how effortlessly I liked this man.
"Nina..." David reached for my hands before our dinner arrived. Our fingers interlocked with one another, and we sat there eye gazing tenderly. "I really like you." He whispered, bringing my hands to his lips and kissing each finger individually.
The taste of lamb...
the sight of it under a tangerine glow. Beautiful ambience adds more flavor. Or perhaps makes us more sensitive to the entire experience. The delicate the way its tender flesh is sliced through, picked up and fed to another. I was high off the meat or the man, I wasn't sure which anymore. And slightly disassociated even, as if a fly on the wall observing it, impartial. The sensuality, the visceral experiences of humans. There is something remarkably bestial about it. Bordering on callous. How selfish our pleasures can be, and how completely acceptable, even encouraged, by the natural laws of order.
"Where did you go?" A hand waved passed my face, snapping me out of my self-absorbed philosophies. I realized I hadn't yet swallowed the piece of meat, half dissolved by saliva now, still sitting in my mouth.
I gulped down and tasted the coppery essence of blood and heat.
"Nowhere..." I managed to smile, bringing David's palm up and pressing my cheek to it for comfort.
The thing is, sitting there I knew already no amount of comfort outside the walls of my own flesh would ever be enough. I had used men when I was younger to stabilize and feel more grounded in my body. I had used certain food as solace, when I was feeling vacant inside. There was something about the materialized aspects of reality that I found no consistent interest in.
Not in the way David made love to me, not in the sensual flavors of a perfectly cooked lamb. After dinner, I remember tasting my lover's saliva, as his tongue explored the familiar depths of my mouth.
And suddenly, I felt hungry all over again.
I pulled him closer to me, and in his excitement, he pressed my body into the wall outside my apartment door, making sure I could feel him hardening between my legs.
"Let's go inside," he whispered, sucking on my earlobe. The sensation brought chills up my spine, and goosebumps all over. I delighted in sensation. I knew all about sensation. But what about love? Before the divide, there was only love.
..to be cont.
Autumn is here. With it comes the fall.
All we built in Spring, and rejoiced in the heat of Summer comes to a close.
The most tender part of me remains hidden,
from eyes of those that seek.
Even in the embrace of temporal love, I am felt but not seen.
Only you can witness me.
This lover without a face,
without a name,
who made me crazy in seeking you.
All is naught. Around in circles I go, laughing and weeping as the days bring me closer to meeting you.
Perhaps the totality I ache to feel will only be on that day. When the last breath is given back to the earth, and she claims only what was meant to belong here.
I know I'll give it away freely then.
This beauty you graced me with is a mirage that I both lament and adore. But the emptiness in me seeps past the throes of any ecstasy.
My body remains a cage. And this fever shall not rest.
Until the day you bestow in me eyes that see.
"She doesn't speak. She is useless, you fool, what am I supposed to do with a girl like this who has the gaze of a lame animal... Don't look at me, you insolent creature! Look down!"
A coarse hand came flying through the air and landed directly across my ear. I collapsed onto the ground with such force, that the skin on my small hands tore apart upon impact. But that was not the worst of the pain, the ringing in my ears made it so I could not even understand the next orders being barked, which landed blow after blow atop my head.
I screamed out in terror, which to my surprise stopped the assault.
"Oh so it does have a voice!" The large man looked delighted.
"She doesn't need to speak, Asim, she is a slave girl! She need only obey orders." The younger man assured him, facing me with a sickening smile. He approached me slowly, knelt down, and cupped my terrified face with his hands.
"Yes... isn't that right sweetheart? You won't go and do something that will make me regret having made an bad investment." He caressed my cheek with a finger.
"You're obedient. Aren't you, doll eyes." It was not a question. He was commanding me. Tears streamed down my face, but still I uttered nothing. Nodding my head seemed to satisfy him. He rose, and the rest of the men followed, the fat one violently pulling my arm behind him.
They brought me to a dirty, broken down house in the dead of night. I saw the faint light of candles burning behind a torn curtained windows. The place was made of clay, not more than two or three small rooms in total. The first room we entered, was empty except for a wooden table in the corner with a candle burning. The second room, separated by another dirty curtain was pitch black. I could hear quiet breathing coming from the room that was dark. My heart sank with fear. I had not even had time to grieve the separation of my mother and uncle before being stolen and taken to this place. I thought should they leave me alone for a moment, I would waste away in ashes, as my mind then could not fathom how my heart had not stopped beating yet. It was just earlier that morning that I was taken from the last of my kin.
Wondering with both hope and despair, if they were alive still. And if so, I prayed they would somehow find me.
The men went to sit around the table and began muttering about business. I sat in the farthest corner from them, when suddenly it dawned on me that I was closer to the door than they were. The exit was no more than one or two meters away from where I was. I looked over and saw the men still immersed in conversation, their voices growing louder and more animated as they spoke. If there was ever a moment in time to escape, now was the best time to do it.
I would run back to where the market was and find a hiding place to sleep until dawn. From there, I would find the closest temple to take refuge in, perhaps whoever oversaw it could even help me find my mother. My heart beat furiously with new found hope. Fate was giving me a second chance, it still was not too late. The confirmation came with a surge of electricity that ran through my hands, and with that surge, I took a deep breath and dove out the door.
Saref closed the curtains to Iman Alirah's room before heading to the main hall where the others were. People sat drinking tea, murmuring amongst themselves or listening to a few of the musicians strum their instruments. The atmosphere was so alive whenever the Master was in the house. The pulse could be felt from well passed the gates outside. A kind of inexplicable electricity that both intoxicated and energized those around.
Aphra was sitting alone in the corner by the entrance, drinking tea and listening to the music. As Saref walked in, she instinctively looked up to see him ushering her to come. She stood up at once and went to him.
"The Master would like to speak with you," he spoke quietly. "If you will, please follow me this way."
The songs of the musicians grew faint as they walked through another hall and slowly approached the curtained door. Aphra noticed she was holding her breath, and exhaled quietly, her hands moist with nervousness. She wiped her palms against her legs in an effort to calm down. Saref turned around and faced her.
"I will announce you now," he nodded as he knocked on the rim of the door.
Saref drew open the curtains, and they both entered the large room. They stood there by the entrance, Aphra looking over to Saref to mirror his actions out of respect. One palm over the other, with his head slightly bowed.
"Please, please..!" Iman Alirah smiled. "Closer! Come sit here." He gestured to a sheep skin rug, the same one Saref sat on opposite of before going to get the girl.
Aphra went to sit just as the Gatekeeper bowed his head to turn and leave.
"Saref! Where are you going? Please join us," the Master said, smiling at him.
When all were settled, Iman Alirah poured tea for everyone. Aphra's eyes remained fixed on the floor while she waited for someone to speak. Nothing happened for a while. Silence filled the chambers and enveloped her with more anticipation. After some time, she looked up slowly to see the Master observing her without any expression.
Averting her gaze for a moment, she thought about what the courtesy would be with regards to being in the presence of someone whose remnants of self had burned away into the light. If there was no self to offend, could she then look straight into the eyes of a Master? Or would basic etiquette have been to look down with reverence?
"It is in the silences, I find, people muse about the principles of dogma and fate." He spoke finally. Aphra looked back at him. "Your fate, for instance, has led you here."
"If that so, fate has both a kind and cruel hand," blurted the girl, surprised by her own words.
The Master smiled, his eyes lost in the intricate design of the rug in front of him. He sipped his tea.
Saref all the while sat, with one hand clasped over the other. Listening.
"It feels that way, doesn't it?" The Master nodded, eyes shining while studying the rug. "To make a choice from a unfair circumstance not of your own choosing. How to continue? Here or there? From wherever the undertow has dragged you to, with no compass. No map. Yet still, by design, a choice is made."
Aphra's brows drew together.
"It cannot really be our choice then, if that choice is born from a forced circumstance." Aphra responded, trying not to frown. "With respect, freedom of choice is a mirage, you most of all know this. It is a folly concept given to fools as an opiate to ease their minds from an otherwise unforgiving world."
The Master's eyes remained calmly on the girl as she spoke.
"I cannot pretend to know all the secrets of this universe. But I do know the nature of men. And I know what desperation can do to those who are forced to make what you call, "a choice"."
Aphra felt fluid thicken in her throat. She grit her teeth so that her eyes would not water, though she felt only anger and sorrow now, recalling a past she thought she had finally left behind. "There is only a wheel, your Grace. In its spinning, it spins dreams. I know that I am dreaming, but pain is still felt within a dream. And the scars still remain even after waking."
Stunned, Saref lifted his head and looked at the girl. She continued.
"If Fate then should symbolize this wheel, that which governs it is from beyond this place. Time is subservient to it. Humans are morsels for it. And when the wheel decides to turn again, we are at the mercy of its force. Wherever we land, we land. When at last that wheel stops spinning. Perhaps then we can finally cease dreaming."
In the Master's hand was a date that he held all the while Aphra spoke. He placed it in front of her.
She stared at the fruit for a moment, then looked back up.
"How did Fate's second chance unfold?" Iman Alirah asked, his dark eyes beaming.
The girl opened her mouth to speak, then closed it immediately.
"...excuse me?" Aphra managed, confused.
"You never reached the temple the following morning. That was your original choice. What choice did you make then with the hand that was given?"
There have been only two incidences in my life where time stood completely still. The first time it happened was the last time I ever saw my mother. One moment, we were rushing through a crowded market, with my hand tightly clasped in hers. And the next moment, I was snatched away, before she could even turn her head back around, my family was swallowed by the crowd as I was dragged off with unfathomable speed.
The moment before this happened, she knelt down to remove a golden necklace I had worn since I could remember. On the locket was my name engraved. She put it around her neck and buried it under a thick shawl that covered her hair. Grabbing my little hands in her, she warned me crowded markets were famous for thieves, and did not want the heirloom to be stolen from around my neck.
"I will safe guard it for you, my love." She said to me, as she kissed my fingers. "Until we are out of here. Stay close to me."
It was in that moment. Time stopped.
I felt the pulse of the market slow to a halt. The crowds frozen in pace. My mother's dark eyes, bright and luminous, bore directly into mine. I will never forget the expression on her face. Her lips still quivered from the tragedy that transpired only days before, but the light in her eyes remained after everything that had happened. I saw behind her iris, a force of divine grace.
She looked so vulnerable in that moment. Strands of black hair tucked behind her shawl. I saw her for a moment not as my mother, but a woman who had lost four children, a husband, and witnessed her only surviving daughter be raped only yards away. Upon the many layers of different emotions behind her gaze, at the base was a heartbreaking look of apology.
I brought my hands up to my mother's face and breathed in her scent, that familiar aroma from my childhood filling up my nostrils. All the memories we shared during happier times. Her laughter, the dimples in her cheeks. With eyes closed, I knew time had already resumed. She stood back up. I never got to thank her, I never got to say goodbye.
The very moment after, for that gift of pause, time sped twice the faster and in those minutes that followed, my hand was never held by hers again.
Too much water surrounds me. Everywhere I turn, the color blue fades into...
still I awake every night parched with thirst. I am drowning with lips cracked like the deserts of my lineage.
The language I speak is foreign to me. I wake up and cry out for you, stranger without a face. I take more solace in the Unknown than all that I have known throughout the years of characters I have embraced.
You cannot hold the hand of someone whose life is at their fingertips. Just beyond reach,
I wonder what I would have become had I stayed and been raised by you.
Would you love me with the same fervor and tragedy as you do, not having been a part of my growing youth?
The wealth of my love is hidden in the shadows of my subconscious. All anyone sees is a mercurial kind of beauty. Enigmatic. Difficult to train. Responsive and despondent all the same.
Before I drift off to the dreamlands each night, I pray to stay there a little while longer. A place where gravity does not exist. And the beginning is the middle with no written fates across our face.
I cannot tell you this, and so here I write the rest of it. I fear I shall come and feel even more placeless in the soil that once birthed me. I am wishing for the past beyond farther than even memory. Longing for the youth of a man that was once my father.
Your fate has become my deepest suffering. You bleed and across the seas, there is nothing I can do.
You know just as well as I, how painful the hymn of mortality sings. Our life is borrowed, our love is blue.
Was every me and ever you.